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Plant-Based Bolognese

By Nancy Eisman
Image of Plant-Based Bolognese

The Food Lover’s Companion describes Bolognese as “named after the rich cookery style of Bologna, Italy” and refers “to dishes served with a thick, full-bodied meat and vegetable sauce enhanced with wine and milk or cream”. Aka Ragu Bolognese or just Ragu, meaning “to stimulate the appetite”, it takes just a couple of simple swaps to make this classic, filling recipe PB411 approved.

No meat, no problem, because Melissa’s Soy Ground® is so good you won’t miss the meat. Unsweetened almond milk handily replaces the dairy, and that’s it for the replacements. Some Bolognese recipes call for red wine, and some for white, and this one opts for the latter because I think it makes for a more delicate flavor enhancer. Feel free to leave out wine altogether and instead add a splash of champagne or wine vinegar.

Since it’s September and seasonal tomatoes are still in abundance, supplement the canned crushed tomatoes in the recipe with some fresh Cabernet, Heirloom, or Orange Clusters. Maroon or one of the Baby Carrot varieties are flavorful replacements for conventional carrots, and you’ll get a pleasantly mild pungency by using Elephant Garlic for a change.

This sauce is so hearty, and takes only an hour or so to finish but tastes like it’s simmered on the stove all day. Serve Italian-style over tagliatelle, American-style over spaghetti, or pasta-free style over spiralized summer squash. Mama Mia, this is a very tasty, filling, and satisfying sauce.

Plant-Based Bolognese
Image of Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 package soy ground®
1 cup cubed carrots
1 cup cubed celery
1 cup cubed onion
4 regular or 1 elephant garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups cubed fresh tomatoes
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or other chile equivalent
½ cup fresh oregano
½ cup fresh Italian parsley

Cook soy ground® according to package directions and set aside.

Sauté the carrots, celery and onion in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until veggies are tender.

Add the cubed fresh tomatoes and cook about 4 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine.

Add the wine and milk and stir until completely blended.

Add the fresh oregano and red pepper flakes.

Turn down the heat and simmer the sauce for 20 minutes until thickened.

Add in the cooked soy ground, stir to combine, and simmer another 10 minutes.

Add in the fresh parsley and simmer for another minute. Adjust seasonings.
Image of Plant-Based Bolognese
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve over pasta or zoodles.

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